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NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For April 30

If you like underdogs, the 2018 NBA playoffs are not for you. 

Favorites have now won 20 games in a row straight up, the first time that’s happened since 2012. The NBA moneyline has actually been a great way to go at 38-9 for the faves with a profit of $843 if you’re betting $100 game. 

That’s making betting pretty simple. 

If you took the chalk against the spread, you’d be up $1,421 with a record of 32-15. That’s a pretty simple betting strategy too but I think we’ll see books adjust. We’re already seeing the Celtics as home dogs of more than a possession in Game 1 against the Sixers, which looks to me like it’s designed to tempt action on the Celtics.   

I’m not so hot in hoops these playoffs, so I guess I’m making things more complicated than they need to be. I’m hot in puck, though, where I’m seeing lines much better. Here are my records: 

Now 16-11 in the NHL after a 3-2 weekend if you follow me on Twitter. I’m up $461 (based on $100/gm bets)
NBA 11-15 ATS. 

On to tonight’s picks. Also check out the analysis in the vid above and join us on Periscope on @OddsShark each day at noon ET.  

NBA: 

Sixers at Celtics +3.5, 208 

  • Series price: Sixers -400, Celtics +300 
  • How much is the Game 7 hangover factor worth to the spread? I’d say a point, plus another half-point for the added rest factor for the Sixers in the public’s eyes. We already saw this line move from 2.5 to 3.5.  
  • Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown questionable with a strained hamstring. Played at least 38 minutes in the three games prior to the injury. 
  • Celtics have covered six of last eight. Sixers have covered five of last seven. Celtics went 3-1 SU, ATS vs Sixers this season but that was with Kyrie Irving. 
  • Sixers have won 20 of their last 21 games and won nine straight on the road. 20-6 ATS in that time. 
  • Philly is now favored to win the East at -110. Celtics are +1500. 
  • Top two 3-point defense teams in the NBA this season: Celtics 33.9 percent, Sixers 34.2 percent 
  • Celtics No. 2 at shooting the 3 this season (37.7 percent) and they’ll need to be hot from long range to topple the Sixers this series. 

Pick: Sixers -3.5 

NHL: 

Bruins at Lightning -150, 6 

  • Lightning looked asleep in Game 1. Too many defensive letdowns. 
  • Bolts went with a strategy of their shutdown line – Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point – trying to stop Boston’s top scoring line. Didn’t work. I think TB is a better team rolling four lines while beating teams with their depth. We’ll see if they adjust. 
  • The OVER is 5-2-1 in Bruins games these playoffs and 4-2 in Lightning games. I think that has pushed this total a bit too high for Game 2 in Tampa Bay. 
  • I expect a much tougher defensive effort from Lightning tonight. I like them to win but betting value going with the total. 

Pick: UNDER 6 

Golden Knights at Sharks -125, 5.5

  • Knights coming off first playoff loss in franchise history. Sounds like a bigger deal than it is. Veterans on this team who have been through the playoffs before. 
  • Evander Kane returns from suspension. Sharks had third-most goals at even strength in the league since acquiring him in February.
  • San Jose’s penalty kill is the second-worst among playoff teams left (79.2 percent) while the Knights power play is the second-worst (16.7%). Might help UNDER bettors. 
  • LVK’s Marc-Andre Fleury leads the playoffs in goals-against (1.00) and save percentage (.967). 

Pick: Sharks first period ½-goal (+160)  

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